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Blu-ray Review: THE MARTIAN Extended Edition
PHOTOGRAPHY

THE MARTIAN (2015) Extended Edition

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  141 minutes(PG-13)/ 151 minutes (Extended Cut), audio commentary, making of documentary, featurettes, Ares videos, gag reel, production art galleries, theatrical trailers, digital HD ultraviolet copy

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO:  English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, English Text

 

STUDIO 20th Century Fox/ Kinberg Genre Films/ Scott Free

Theatrical RELEASE DATE (USA): 10-2-2015

Blu-ray/ 4K UHD RELEASE DATE: 6-7-2016

STARRING Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Aksel Hennie, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover, and Kate Mara

Based on the novel by Andy Weir

Screenplay by Drew Goddard

Directed by Ridley Scott

 

Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is believed to be dead and left behind during a Manned Mars mission when a violent storm hits base camp which causes the crew to evac.   Watney must survive on meager supplies, his wit, and spirit on a hostile planet where he hopes to hold out long enough for a rescue mission which may be years away.  NASA tries to spin the situation while trying to find a way to keep him alive and rescue him.   They first keep the crew of the Ares III in the dark so they can finish their mission in getting home to Earth while Watney sciences the hell out of what he has with him including finding the defunct Pathfinder probe and making a potato garden inside the Mars habitat.  He is a man alone on a hostile planet known as Mars where he grows potatoes while using his own poop as fertilizer ands disco music (he hates) to help keep him company.

 

THE MARTIAN is one of Ridley Scott’s best movies as he manages to craft a movie of the human spirit with good science while showcasing the beautiful terrain of Mars and mixing in the NASA politics behind saving Watney or not.   It is a well cast movie with great art direction and a good mix of suspense, humor, drama, and awe.  The story takes the Apollo 13 approach as you see the story from multiple characters from the astronauts in space to Watney on Mars to the engineers back on Earth at various places.  The climax does feel a little like it is ripping off the ending off another Mars rescue movie, but I overall enjoyed THE MARTIAN and I would love to watch it again.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The first blu-ray disc features THE MARTIAN theatrical cut and extended cut (I really can’t tell what has been added in the extended cut). The only extra is an audio commentary with director Ridley Scott, author Andy Weir, and screenwriter Drew Goddard.  They talk about what the book/ movie got right and what was just pure fiction (like the Martian storm being dramatic license), what changed from book to film while adapting it, and

 

A batch of new and old extras is on the second blu-ray disc.  The full making-of documentary of THE MARTIAN called THE LONG WAY HOME: THE MAKING OF THE MARTIAN is included in this release (two parts of it previously appeared on the first blu-ray release):

 

SIGNAL ACQUIRED: WRITING AND DIRECTION- how the novel became a movie with a screenplay by Drew Goddard and directed by Ridley Scott along with the production using Go Pro cameras for the Mars Habitat set

THE BLEEDING EDGE: SCIENCE AND DESIGN- a look at the production design of the movie and how science (and expert advice from NASA and ESA played a role) in the sets

OCCUPY MARS: CASTING AND COSTUMES- all about the cast and the costume design of the space suits

THREE WORLDS AWAY: PRODUCTION- HUNGARY & JORDAN-

WRATH OF THE RED PLANET: STUNTS AND ACTION- a look at the stunts and action sequences of THE MARTIAN

BRINGING HIM HOME: POST-PRODUCTION- the focus goes into the visual effects (provided by three different companies who each handled one part whether it was Earth, Mars, or the Hermes) of THE MARTIAN, editing, and the music score

 

DARE MIGHTY THINGS: NASA’S JOURNEY TO MARS

THE JOURNEY TO MARS 101- three panels with NASA scientists and engineers, author Andy Weir, screenwriter Drew Goddard, and director Ridley Scott:

NASA’s JOURNEY TO MARS- author Andy Weir hosts the first panel with NASA scientists

LIVING ON MARS AND BEYOND- other scientists in the space and robotics fields talk about Mars and living there.  Panel hosted by Bill Nye

WHY SCIENCE FICTION INSPIRES ME- author Andy Weir, director Ridley Scott, and screenwriter Drew Goddard are in the third panel

 

7 minute gag reel

 

ARES III: FAREWELL, THE RIGHT STUFF, ARES: OUR GREATEST ADVENTURE, LEAVE YOUR MARK, and BRING HIM HOME are internet viral videos about the Ares mission and Mark Watney while ARES III: REFOCUSED is a new epilogue for the blu-ray examining the Mark Watney rescue and the decisions made by the people in Mission Control

Rounding out the extras are production art galleries for Earth, the Hermes, and Mars, the theatrical trailer, and a code to download and stream a digital HD ultraviolet copy of THE MARTIAN

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  THE MARTIAN is a one of the better sci-fi movies directed by Ridley Scott.  The movie is a crowd pleaser with lots of real science behind it.  The making of documentary and science related extras make this one to own and you can ditch your theatrical release copy since all extras and the theatrical cut carried over.

 

This review is 6-13-2016 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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